Articles

The Earth's early evolution

Science  15 Sep 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5230, pp. 1535-1540
DOI: 10.1126/science.7667634

Abstract

The Archean crust contains direct geochemical information of the Earth's early planetary differentiation. A major outstanding question in the Earth sciences is whether the volume of continental crust today represents nearly all that formed over Earth's history or whether its rates of creation and destruction have been approximately balanced since the Archean. Analysis of neodymium isotopic data from the oldest remnants of Archean crust suggests that crustal recycling is important and that preserved continental crust comprises fragments of crust that escaped recycling. Furthermore, the data suggest that the isotopic evolution of Earth's mantle reflects progressive eradication of primordial heterogeneities related to early differentiation.

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